The Yale University Art Gallery is pleased to announce the appointment of Freyda Spira as the Robert L. Solley Curator of Prints and Drawings. Spira is currently Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where she specializes in Northern Renaissance and Baroque prints, drawings, and illustrated books. She will assume her new position at the Gallery on July 1.
“Freyda Spira is an accomplished scholar and curator. The catalogue she wrote for The Renaissance of Etching quickly has become a standard reference in the field—offering a fascinating window into the evolution of etching from decorative technique to a fine art,” says Laurence Kanter, the Gallery’s Chief Curator and Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of European Art. “Throughout the search process the committee was impressed by Spira’s rigorous curatorial approach and innovative thinking. We look forward to welcoming her to the Gallery in July.”
Spira joined the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Met in 2008. She held two previous positions at the Met, Associate Curator of Visual Culture and Research Associate for Northern Renaissance and Baroque drawings, before being appointed Associate Curator of Northern Renaissance and Baroque prints, drawings, and illustrated books in 2015.
During her time at the Met she curated many successful exhibitions, such as The Renaissance of Etching (2019), organized jointly by the Met and the Albertina Museum, Vienna. Other notable exhibitions and books include The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor (2016) and Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1700 (2012), both at the Met Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings, 1475–1540 (2012), at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and a major exhibition of 19th-century Danish art currently being organized by the Met and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, in cooperation with the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. Her work has also appeared in journals such as Art in Print and Print Quarterly.
“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to work at the Yale University Art Gallery and bring a fresh perspective to its collections,” says Spira. “My own scholarship strongly relates to the Gallery’s holdings. I am looking forward to exploring new ways to use the museum’s encyclopedic collections and rich history as a platform for connecting audiences with art from across a range of periods, cultures, geographies, and genres.”
Spira holds a B.A. from Barnard College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a PH.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.